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2001-05-10 Killington: Photos, story

A long, long time ago, when I was at the tender age of 10 or so, my parents were in a Friday night bowling league. My older sister was entering her dating and high school hanging out years, so for some time I would tag along to the bowling alley with mom and dad and play pinball and otherwise amuse myself.

One night I ran into a kid who had just transferred into my elementary school. His parents and my parents were in the same league. We started to hang out together, and it didn't take too long (about 20 minutes, as I recall) before we discovered that both our families skied.

As the years rolled on, he joined my family on ski trips and I joined his. Nothing like getting sprung from school with your buddy by your Mom to go to Butternut Basin on your birthday. Happy days on the terrifying slopes of Dutch Hill, where his family had season passes and spent Christmas week and nearly every weekend.

The only bummer was that we both had annoying older sister. Me, I had my sister Penny. Jimmy had Anne and Alice: identical twins, no less. Twice as annoying.

Fast forward thirty some years: Jimmy is married with four kids and living on Long Island. Doesn't get out skiing too much these days, if at all. I see him once or twice a year. Anne, she lives in Cincinnati. Not much skiing in Cincinnati.

But Alice, well she's another story. She moved to Vermont maybe four or five years before I did. Bumpher Grrl Alice and I have been making turns and trashing moguls together for three decades. Turns out she's not so annoying after all.

So what has all this got to do with Killington? The twin sister rolled into town last night. Hasn't been skiing in maybe 20 years, near as she can tell. Until today.

Bumpher Grrl, Anne, and I blew on down Route 100 this morning in search of snow. We thought about waiting until Friday, but temperatures in the 70s and the Killington web site suggested that Bittersweet and Skyelark weren't going to hold out that long. After a 20 year hiatus, I was reluctant to push Fair Weather Annie -- she never did like winter all that much -- down Superstar.

Our first stop was the rental shop. Thank you, Killington, for both being open and still renting stuff in the middle of May. Thanks, too, for some pretty decent pizza in the base lodge.

Eventually we found our way onto the lift and up to the top. Bittersweet was just that: yeah, it was open - but it sure wasn't an easy cruiser. It, too, had some sizable bumps and some more sizeable bare spots. Couple of places, the snow ribbon was only about 2 feet wide. But Annie took it all in stride, showing some real promise on the comeback trail.

In fact, enough promise that next run, we just bolted right on down Superstar. And then again. Then over to Skyelark, that had even bigger bumps and a narrower path at the top, but opened into some true high speed cruising on down to lower Bittersweet.

And then back to Superstar, and again and again and again.

Seems like a twenty year absence from the sport really don't mean squat. Once a skier, always a skier. Maybe it was the super soft snow, maybe in was the blinding sunshine and skiing in a T-shirt, I dunno. But Annie is truly another Bumpher Grrl.

So I'm thinking that this will about do it for me for this season. Sure, the Big K ain't no Tuckerman Ravine, but doing endless bumps with my two oldest ski partners -- and twin sisters a heck of a lot prettier than Jumpin' Jimmy and mrrogers, I might add -- is a pretty decent way to end a season.

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Last modified May 23 2002 07:57 PM

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